Chris Geiger

The Cancer Survivors Club

Cough Please!

I APOLOGISE IN ADVANCE if you're reading this while eating your cornflakes, however I could just be about to save your life.

I was standing naked from the waist down earlier this week, having a conversation with a nurse about Dennis Hopper's sad passing. I must admit I was struggling to act in a relaxed manner, conscious that if I looked like I was concealing something, she'd be extra observant while examining me; a little like a customs officer studying peoples body language at an airport.

I tried to act relaxed as she explained how "thanks to the Jade Goody effect" people had been visiting their doctor to have every conceivable lump or bump examined. I found it difficult to concentrate on what she was saying, while standing with my wedding tackle on display, willing her to get on with the procedure; and get my boxer shorts back on.

"I'm hoping Dennis Hopper dying will do for men, what Jade did for woman" she said, clearly not bothered in the slightest that I was 'ready' for her. "Everyone's as nervous as hell, like the residents in New York after the 9/11 attacks" she continued.

Now I normally prefer the lights out and at minimum to be on first name terms with someone before getting intimate with them. I therefore thought she'd understand why I was being so abrupt and lacking in conversation. Eventually, the nurse whose name I'd forgotten the moment she'd introduced herself, issued a volley of instructions, like a Sergeant Major addressing people from the 'Royal Association for the Deaf'.

Before I knew it I found myself bent over a couch, while she dug around as if looking for gold or unblocking her bathroom sink. My initial worry was she'd lose her wedding ring, until I remembered seeing her putting gloves on earlier. Then without having time to admire the view of the various medical books in front of me, she announced "Everything appears fine."

I rapidly got dressed, pleased it was over and now aware how a chicken being stuffed must feel; not to mention relieved it hadn't hurt.

"If only more men got checked-out so many more lives could be saved", my new best friend told me as she washed her hands. I don't normally do stuff like this on my first date I wanted to joke, but knew she'd not laugh.

I was happy to listen now I was dressed, "If you have trouble starting to pee or need a pee more often than normal come and see me again." I gave a weary smile; 'dead' and 'body' sprung to mind.

As I slowly stepped backwards towards the door, doing a good impression of John Wayne, she continued telling me that "Prostate cancers grow slowly, but if detected early can be treated." I grinned and nodded, embarrassed now at the thought of what she'd just been doing to me.

As I picked my coat and car keys up, she enquired "Do you examine yourself regularly below" looking between my legs as if making sure I understood what she was asking. That was it; I turned on my heels and sprinted out the room.

So I'm urging all you men, once you've finished your cornflakes, go and book yourself an appointment; it might be embarrassing but it may just save your life.

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Bad Cells

Bad Cells by Chris Geiger - Newspaper Columns

Bad Cells is a collection of Chris Geiger’s thought-provoking and witty newspaper columns. His weekly column rapidly grew in popularity, eventually earning him the prestigious Columnist of the Year award.

Bad Cells includes Chris Geiger’s wide-reaching Guinness World Record column, published on World Cancer Day and an excerpt of his top selling book The Cancer Survivors Club. It also includes an exclusive and moving article, titled Bad Cells, describing his thoughts when first diagnosed and receiving treatment for cancer.

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